#CreativeFriday – Extracting Original file from a Photoshop Raw Smart Object

I tend to use a Lightroom to Photoshop workflow quite often now in my re-touch. When i do this i like to work non-desructively and keep my original RAW file as long as possible, even when coming from Lightroom.

I’ve written about this technique many times (a few of the related posts can be found below).

#CreativeFriday – Photoshop and Lightroom Workflows, Smart Objects and Compositing Images

#CreativeFriday – Lightroom and Photoshop Workflows, Smart Objects and Camera RAW filter

#CreativeFriday – Double RAW conversion using Smart Objects in Lightroom/Camera RAW (ACR), Photoshop and Camera RAW

#CreativeFriday – Photoshop’s Fade feature enhancement in Photoshop CC 2015

This technique is amazing and will keep your RAW file as a RAW file with the Lightroom or Camera RAW (ACR) adjustments.

This workflow will embed the RAW file plus the Lightroom/ACR adjustments into the Photoshop Smart Object layer. But sometimes it might be required to extract the RAW file from the Smart Object layer.

To do this, double click on the Photoshop Smart Object layer (marked in red below) and enter the Camera RAW panel.

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To extract the original file, the ‘Save Image’ can be used from the Camera RAW panel (marked in red below)

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The Save Image dialog box will be shown

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This will extract the image to a location that you can specify.

N.B. A couple of things to note :-

  • Saving anything other than a DNG file will bake in the Camera Raw or Lightroom adjustments into the save file (PSD/TIFF or JPG)
  • Saving as a DNG will not bake in the adjustments, the original RAW file can be recovered in Lightroom or Camera RAW.
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Adobe MAX – Photoshop Painted Chameleons

Recently we have had the chance to work the 3D model maker Jon Reilly. Jon was able to make the Chameleon come to life and allow us to paint it in different colours using just Photoshop CC’s 2D and 3D tools.

Jon has made many models in his professional career, and more information about Jon and the work that he has created by visiting his website.

The Chameleon was a joy to work with and a Perfect example of what you can achieve with Photoshop’s painting engine. The video on how one of the model was painted can be found at the bottom of the post.

Chameleon – Anthony
by rcurtis
on Sketchfab

Chameleon – Chuck
by rcurtis
on Sketchfab

How to!

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Adobe Max – Stratasys and Adobe Photoshop CC Painting Challenge

BRETOMER_006_300DPI_PS copy

“Bretomer”, by Nick Ervink, was printed using Connex3 technology. You can meet the artist and see more breathtaking achievements in shape and colour by visiting Stratasys in the Adobe Max Community Pavilion.

At the Stratasys stand you will also see an exclusive sneak peak into continuous colour 3D printing and collaboration with painting using Adobe Photoshop CC.

  • See astounding, vibrant 3D printed works of art and design
  • Try experimental colour design/painting with Photoshop CC
  • Compete in the design challenge to win one of the two daily awards of $1,000 toward Stratasys Direct Express printing services.

To enable your creative visions to come alive, there will be a 3D Chameleon model . The Chameleon was created by 3D model artist Jon Reilly, Jon has made many models in his professional career, and more information about Jon and the work that he has created by visiting his website. You will find workstations on the stand with the chameleon ready to paint, and workstations running Photoshop CC to make your creation come alive.

As an example of what’s possible, we have already painted and printed on the Stsratasys Connex 3 a variety of Chameleons, they will also be available for viewing (in different colours on the Stratasys stand in the community pavilion area).


If you would like to see other examples that have been painted in Photoshop CC, then there is a dedicated page.

If you are looking for ideas on how to paint the Chameleon, we have created a video to demonstrate the techniques used in Photoshop.


Also, the Stratasys Direct Express printing service profiles for Photoshop CC are now available from the Photoshop 3D services page.



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Free Photoshop, 3D and Photography talks at Creative Rooms – 15th October

I’m pleased to announce there will be some free Photography, 3D and Photoshop and Creative Cloud talks at Escape’s Creative Rooms event on Thursday 15th October. If anything grabs your attention and you would like to learn more, please register at CreativeRooms, then head to ‘What’s on’!.


The schedule for the day is shown below.
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#CreativeFriday – Using Quick Development Panel in Lightroom

Some times a Photograph just needs a quick edit and the Development can be too much and take too long to make an image look great. A quick and easy way for all users of Lightroom is the Quick Development panel in the Library panel, it’s especially good for people that are new to Lightroom or to Photography in general,  as the adjustments in the Library module work on using ‘stops’ (a term that is often used in Photography).

This image is from film (Portra 400) and it’s almost where I would like it to be, but I would like to turn it into a B&W photo, as well as just tweak the exposure/ contrast as well as a few other settings.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 09.43.03

Looking at the image, there are a couple of blemishes in the sky, these are easy to fix by using the Clone/Heal tool in the Development mode. This will be a simple step to fix these issues. Once the develop module is selected (by clicking on the text marked in red below), Lightroom will move into it’s very powerful Development mode (we are just going to fix these blemishes here, then back to the Library module). To remove the blemishes, the Clone/Heal tool (marked in yellow) can be used, to select it, just clicking directly on the tool (marked in yellow below).

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Once the Clone/Heal tool has been selected a circular tool will appear on the screen. The tool will either have one or two circles. If there are two, the outer circle is the full width of the tool, including the feather, the inner is the Clone/Heal area. If there is only one circle, then there is no feather on the tool so the fix won’t be as blended into the picture. The size of the tool and it’s feather can be controlled once the Clone/Heal has been selected, and is shown in the yellow area below.

The tool is easy to use. Place it over the area that needs to be replaced, making sure that the tool covers the area, or has a large enough feather to blend the fix into the scene. Then either click on the image to make the Clone/Heal, or click and drag to paint an area that will be fixed.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 09.43.39

Once the area has been covered/selected with the tool, a secondary circle will appear. This is the area that will be used to fix the target area. This circle can be freely moved if required, to fine tune the source. Don’t worry if it’s not correct the first time, the Clone/Heal area can be removed, by selecting it (clicking on the marked area, then pressing delete on the keyboard).

Another handy feature that is available on the Clone/Heal tool is the ‘Visualise Spots’. Turning this on will show the negative of the image and can raise any issues that are not too obvious on the image. This tool is great for identifying dust spots that can on the picture from the sensor. The slider next to the tick box is the sensitivity of the negative and will show more or less of the negative when moved.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 09.43.53

Once again the Clone/Heal tool can be used in this type of scenario and fix parts of this picture quickly and non destructively (i.e. the underlying RAW file is not changed during the editing process).

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Once this process has been completed, Lightroom can be moved back to the Library module for further enhancements.

Basic adjustments to the picture can be made using the Quick Development panel (marked in red below).

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From here presets can be used to quickly enhance your image. These can be applied quickly to the image, just by selecting the appropriate one.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 09.53.35v1

The image can be cropped from here, by choosing the crop ratio. The crop will be applied to the image, from the centre of the image outward.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 09.53.35v2

The image can also be converted to B&W from colour or vica versa.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 09.53.35

The image adjustment controls can be used to control the visual appearance of the image by clicking on the appropriate controls (show in red below). Each control has two single arrow buttons and two double arrow buttons.

The single button will increase/decrease the selected tone (exposure, contrast etc) by 1/3 of a stop. The double button will increase/decrease the tone value by a full stop.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 09.53.35 v3


Making adjustments to your images in this way is similar to working in the camera and the restriction this it gives can be a simple way to working with the images and improving your photography whilst in the camera.

It took just two minutes to make this image into something that I can use.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 10.59.54

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EuroPac 3D Printworx Full Colour Printing now available for Photoshop CC

Layer 1
It’s great to announce that we now support the Europac 3D Printworx Printing service for Photoshop CC. Once the printer profile has been installed (instructions below), you can then print full colour 3D prints, as well as pure white.
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If you would like to use the Europac 3D Printworx service,  you can download them from the Photoshop 3D printing page here, then click on the text within the area marked in red and choose ‘Europac 3D Printworx’ profile. If you don’t already have Photoshop CC, then you can download a 30 day trial here.
Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 20.11.37
If you are visiting the UK TCT show this week, then don’t forget to have a chat with the guys about their 3D colour prints.
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AOP Photography Awards 2015 – Free Events.


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Adobe Max 2015.

Adobe MAX is just around the corner. Be sure to sign up for keynotes on the 5th and 6th October, where you can see first-hand all the latest Adobe Creative Cloud tools and trends: http://adobe.ly/1QAzcPb

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#CreativeFriday – Applying graphics to 3D models

This post will show how to apply a graphic to a 3D object, regardless of the presence of a UV map or not. Applying a graphic to the model will use a technique called ‘Projection’. Projection will take the contents of a layer (above the model) and push the pixles to the surface of the model and place it into the texture layers.

This toy plane will be used in this demo, and will place graphics on the top of the wings.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 21.17.02I don’t have any graphics handy, so i’m going to use Adobe Stock to find some. To do this, i’ve created a new library under the Photoshop Library panel, called Toy Plane Graphics.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 21.18.03From within the Library panel (marked in red), you can select Adobe Stock (marked in blue), and the desktop apps will take you to the Adobe Stock website.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 21.18.03 copyWe are going to search for ‘Plane Graphics’ and ‘Vectors’ and see what results come back.

After a few searches, a couple of options have been found

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 21.25.15It’s easy to select these for Preview or too license direct by selecting the appropraite option, you can also specify a target library at the same time.

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These two graphics are transferred to the Library panel in the desktop apps via the Creative Cloud Sync (part of the Creative Cloud Desktop application that you probably have on your computer).

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 21.35.59 For the projection method of transferring the graphics onto the texture to work, the cameras of the 3D viewport will need to see the target area. Also, projection will only place the graphics on the parts that the camera can see.

Re-orientating the plane can be done with the 3D secondary view (or by manually moving it with the 3D move tools). This panel will normally be shown when the 3D layer as well as the move tool are selected. But if it’s not shown, then it can be selected from the  toolbar menu option View/ Show / 3D Secondary view.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 21.17.02 copy

The following panel should appear in the view port (top left)

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.06.24

This secondary view is showing the plane in orthographic mode, more like a 2D view, rather than a perspective (3D) view. This view can be changed by clicking on the camera (marked in red), and selecting the view (i’ll select Top view), as that is where the graphics will be placed.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.06.24 copyChoose the transfer to main window button, marked in yellow. If the plane in the viewport is too far away, or to close to the camera, the camera can be dollied using the icon marked in red below.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.17.23 copy

The library graphic can be added to the comp, by dragging it and into the canvas. A new layer to contain this object will be created for you. The star was originally on a white background, but with a simple selection, a mask has been created to hide it.

Once the graphic is sitting on a layer above the plane, it can be pushed down using CMD+E (Mac) or CTRL+E on a PC. This will operate a merge downward action and push the graphic onto the plane and into the texture layer. Merging down will sometimes cause graphics to dissapear, if this happens see section ‘ What can go wrong when merging down?’ below.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.32.38 copy

Once merged, the graphic should be displayed but will take on the characteristics on the light and materials of the 3D scene.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.36.47

If the texture is opened at this point, the graphic will be displayed blended into the texture layer. The black wiry element is the UV map and I think you might agree that it’s a bit messy, that’s because it’s not a very well created UV map. Also, you will see 3 stars below and not one, and this is because of the overlapping UV’s in the map. If the UV map gets in the way, it can be turned off by un-checking the UV check box marked in red.

N.B. When painting and texturing a 3D object it is important to have well laid out UV maps.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.41.13 copy

Without UVw’s turned on

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.41.17

How does the merge down work. When the merge down is actioned, Photoshop will look for a layer to place the textures on, this should be an empty/simple layer. The layer is very useful as it helps to isolate different merge downs (if there are many), as they can be placed on individual layers within the texture map. By operating Photoshop in this way will allow the textures to be kept as non-destructuve layers, for re-editing at a later point in time (you don’t need to rasterise texture layers in Photoshop CC).

I.e. A new layer is placed in the texture, this is done by clicking the new layer button (marked in red)

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.48.35 copy

One the other side of the wing, you can see a colour graphic, which has been placed into a new layer above the 3D object, a mask created to cut the background out, then converted to a Smart Object.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.52.46

After the merge down (CMD+E (Mac) or CTRL+E (Pc)) has been performed, the graphic is moved to the empty layer in the texture.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.54.57What can go wrong when merging down?

Some times the dialog box similar to the one below may appear. This means that there is no empty layer at the top of the layer stack to place the graphic, in this case the texture contains a Smart Object at the top most layer and Photoshop is not able place the graphic. The way around this is to make a new empty layer in the texture, then retry the operation (selecting ‘Change Texture Target’ will open the texture for you.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 22.57.16 copy

To get to the texture layers, click on the 3D panel and choose the material layer, in this case called  ‘Material1’ under it’s 3D object. Notice that there are other materials called the same name, this is because the UVw map that contains the texture is shared across the other 3D objects in the scene (it doesn’t matter which material is selected in this case). Once the material is selected, the Materials properties will be shown (in the properties panel). To open the texture, click the ‘Diffuse’ icon marked in red below.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 23.01.55 copy

Graphic goes missing on the merge down?

Some times the merge down graphic goes missing, if this happens, place the merge down graphic in a Smart Object and re-try.

To see what’s possible with this technique, the Jeri model (shown below), that was created by James Stewart for the Adobe gallery at the 3D Print Show in New York was painted in exactly this way.



James Stewart’s Video about Jeri and 3D painting in Photoshop CC 


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#CreativeFriday – New Colour mode workflows in Photoshop CC

The evolution of Photoshop CC has brought created brand new workflows, mostly with the ever growing support for Smart Objects within the adjustment layers and filters. One area that has been improved is for those people that like to work in mulitple colour modes.

As you are probably aware Photoshop has multiple colour modes, CMYK, Lab and RGB to name a few. There are benefits to working within a specific colour space as opposed to another. However, the worflow was to convert the document to the required mode, then convert it back and loosing any edits. This post is to show how to work in multiple colour modes at anyone time without loosing the edits.

i.e. A typical workflow for somone that wanted to work in Lab from an RGB document was to convert from the documents originating source (in this caes RGB), then convert to Lab (using Image / Mode / Lab). Once the adjustments have been made, the document would be then most likely be turned back to the original mode (RGB in this case), or the intended output mode (i.e. CMYK or RGB for example).

i.e. RGB -> LaB -> RGB.

This was fine, but when converting back the adjustments made in Lab would committed to and not re-editable.

Using Smart Objects with this workflow can be beneficial and improve the workflow by enabling in intermediate mode edits to be kept for re-adjustment later.

Once the artwork has been loaded into Photoshop CC, the colour mode is highlighted on the document (marked in red), in this case it’s RGB. The layer is also a Smart Object (which links back to the original RAW file, where any adjustments made from Lightroom or from Camera RAW are kept).

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 15.56.13The colour modes are available on the Photoshop menu Image / Mode

v3To Convert between different modes is easy, just select the new mode and Photoshop CC will convert to the new mode for you. However, tools will behave differently in different modes. i.e. Curves in RGB has a channel entry for the overall channel, Red, Green and Blue. Where as, Lab, has Luminance, a and b (Once the conversion happens all of the tools will change)

A better and non-destructive way of working is to Create a Smart Object from the Smart Object, once the file is opened.

v4This process will embed the original file into a Smart Obejct, allowing Photoshop to store the final image in RGB mode (the new Smart Object, the original file’s Smart Object can then be converted to be Lab).

Once the Conversion to a Smart object operation has completed, the layer will need to be double clicked to open the embedded layer (there will be two canvases open inside Photoshop). To convert the embded file to operate in a different mode, choose Image / Mode, then choose the desired Mode. When the Smart Object layer is converted to a different colour mode, Photoshop will ask if the layer should be rasterised, I would choose the ‘Don’t Rasterize’ option and work around the issues (Becasue Lab is a large colour mode, there my be some colours that the final RGB profile may not be able to deal with). Not rasterizing the layer will keep any RAW adjustments that came from either Camera Raw or from Lightroom.

v7Now the colour mode has been set to Lab, the adjustment controls will be in Lab mode.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 16.22.30The Smart object that contains this layer will show it’s contents in the RGB mode

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 16.22.56

Again, Smart Objects now is able to solve the problem of working within different colour modes in Photoshop CC.

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